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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

ALEXANDER VON  HTJMBOLDTl                  55
CHAPTER IV.
OAKAGA.8 — ABCENHION OF THE SIT/LA MOUNTAIN — EXCURSION'S IHTO
T1IBJ PLAINS TO BAN MBHAHDO BE APUEE3 — THE OOW TREE— -SAIIJ
OK 'JDHK OMBTOaaO— BIO KEGBO— BETUBN" OK TOI2 OASSIQUIABS IHTO
OKTKOOaO — ANX30STUBA.
HUMBOLTDT remained two months in Caracas.    This
se'at of the supreme court,, under wliose jurisdiction
more than  30,000 people  lived, seemed to him, at
iimtj a solemn dismal town.    He trod the soil as if
ho woro haunted by a foreboding of the terrible visi-
tatiou which  awaited this town in   1812, when   an
carthquaJkfi buried J 2,000 inhabitants under the ruins
of their dwellings.    The waning fogs descended from
the  mountains into the valleys, and, at first sight,
Humboldt thought himself transported to the larch
and pino covered Harss mountains,    But he calls the
vale of Caracas a parudisu, a valley of eternal spring,
whore the temperature nov<3r, not even in the night,
falls  below  18 degrees;   and where  Pisang, citron,
coffee-bushes, apple-trees, and fi^s, grow beside each
other in rich, profusion.    The first  melancholy im-
pression of Caracas sooix faded from his mind, when
he perceived the beauty of the valleys, and especially
when he experienced the agreeable impression which
the inhabitants made upon his soul ;  for, however
fertile nature may be, man is always its most impor-
tant and most interesting feature-    Here Humboldt
found, instead  of a noisy, varied life, a refreshing,
domestic lifo, which engenders frankness, cheerfulness^
mid refined manners,    The inhabitants might/ hi>w